Fairy on her shoulder…Cee’s Thursday Special Photo Exercise: juxtaposition


connie smile (3)
Original photo. 
connie smile (2)
Cropped  Photo 1I li
connie smile (3)
Cropped Photo 2

I like the last photo, with the softer tint, and the less contrast.    The crop cut out extraneous details, and zoned in on the woman and the sleeping fairy figure, which is the theme of the picture.    The middle photo seems to me to have harsher details, especially in the weave of the cover.

This is a fun exercise, Cee!  https://ceenphotography.com/2017/04/28/thursdays-special-juxtaposition-2/#respond


Gall-and-Wormwood: MindLoveMisery’s Wordle#143.

Here’s a Wordle that I’ve been working on.   I like these prompt-forms so much that I write them down in my notebook and work on them when so inclined.    Here’s one I worked on for a long time but haven’t gotten it published on my blog.     The twelve words given are: apple, frigid, pain,  gall-and-wormwood (deep resentment,) dive, cinch, halfway, grime, wind, vintage, pause, and Palinoia ( compulsive repetition of an act until it is performed perfectly.)

Vintage memories pause halfway
on the stalled turntable of
Palinoia’s imaginary grime…
brought on through “gall and wormwood”
that eats my craw and forces me
to dive into the frigid apple wine
that dulls the pain and
quiets the howl of the wind.

(©Sometimes, 2017)

I like to use the Wordle words for poems, although any literary form is acceptable.  Wordles are great fun, and anyone is welcome to join in.    Yves Morrow, the owner of the blog always welcomes contributors to his various and daily prompts…or any visitors, there is some really excellent material found here.     https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/

Faded Glory: Red Tulips

tulips close

Yes, I know…we’ve seen these tulips before in various stages…but this shot of their Last Hurrah, which I took on a whim just shooting photos for the heck of it, pleases me.   I like the way the edges of the flowers reflect the light.     They have had a longer life because of our unpredictable northern Ohio weather: snow, thaw, warm, hot, warmish, cool, warm again, cool again.      (photo © Sometimes,2017)

Do as I say…not as I do :-)

While showing off my prowess with blogging and WordPress in particular, today, I made a point of demonstrating how to try out new themes at will…with the cautionary reminder that while it is possible, admissible, and fun to try out our blogs in other themes….it can be problematic.

Rule #1 for changing to a new theme—always write down the name of the current theme to be sure of easy return.    Otherwise it can be frustrating to plow through the eight and a half million WordPress themes, one by one.

Well…I tried out my theory today, and promptily forgot the name of the theme I had been using of late: Orvis.      (I will cut to the chase though, so ya’ll aren’t sitting there on the edge of your chairs waiting.)    There IS an easy way to recover the theme.   In addition to keeping the theme name in our handy notebook along with other vital blogging tips.    I knew how to do it—but I forgot!

Just go to My Sites/WPAdmin/Appearance/ Customize/ CSS/ CSS revisions…, and there is a list of the last 25 revisions made to the blog…which means the last 25 theme changes are listed.   Talk about a life-saver!   I tend to panic easily, so am very grateful to have this handy crutch.

Not that it would be the end of the world if the theme changed, but it could slow a blogger down.    Support is always there, and they are good…but in a panic it always helps to know what to do.

Change in the Neighborhood…Photo Op


My new camera is wonderful.   I love it…the way it feels, the reassuring heft, the quality of the photos.    The colors are glorious, landscapes good and clear, and focus…well, focus is not my strong suite.   I used to blame it on my eyesight, on the camera itself, pesky f-stops and shutter speeds, and my own tendency to shake.     But now the brutal truth of photography is shining brightly in my face in four large words:  read the manual stupid!

Actually I’m not stupid, just impatient.  The simpler the camera the less there is to know of techniques and tricks of the trade.   Point-n-shoot….way to go.   Except that I want to learn how to be a real photographer, not just a picture-taker.      Fully recognizant of the need to study the basics and memorize a few simple tips such as keeping the camera battery charged…and checking to see that there is an SD card in place.

Even as I write there is an imminent barn-collapse in the works across the road, where they are tearing down a big old greenhouse operation and are in the end-time of demolishing a big 100-year old barn and some assorted out buildings.    The greenhouse structures are already gone.     I do have photos of the destruction and clean-up.

Both of my camera batteries are charging.  Really.    My new Sony DSC-HX80 needed to be charged, and so did my little blue Sony which I like to keep fired up for back-up…and besides, it doesn’t require much thinking.

So hopefully the little orange charging lights will turn to green before the barn becomes a pile of rubble.

The latter may be a really big deal, as the front edge of the barn is maybe 20 feet from the edge of the road pavement.   It has been there for a century, before there was much of a road.    The operation will probably need a police car, maybe a fire truck…and a flag-person-crew to direct traffic.

… stay tuned.


See house to the SouthWest of the barn.


All these buildings will come down. 
The big dumpsters are rented, and when full are taken away to the dump.




What are they doing to our bread? (a paranoid paradox)

First, a general comment about bread.     I have always loved bread, any kind of bread, but for one main criteria—it must be fresh and soft.     My paranoia about such things runs deep, and my kids still make fun of me for cautioning store check-put people from “smashing the bread.”

The paradox here is a rather self-centered idiosyncrasy which I nurture and perpetuate, having progressed from being a picky kid, to a picky great-grandmother.     As much as I like bread, I have refused to eat it unless it was fresh enough for my particular palate.   However, in recent months I have found store-bought white bread to be nearly inedible.

Even the “better” brands of bread, like Schwebel’s (my personal favorite,) have lost their appeal because they are TOO soft.    Imagine that…too soft for me.

Not only is the new bread soft, it is spongy, and will wad up into a Play-Doh-like ball.   It is not chewy, like a really great thick slice of really-really-good Italian bread…but chewy as in gummy and difficult to swallow.     It’s hard to handle when eating it, too, as it tends to smash together rather than having the old springy texture that would pop back into shape.

And even worse is the smell!   Not the good old yeasty bread-smell, that managed to last even after the bread had become stale.    Having a soft-feeling loaf of bread around can be misleading, and give a false sense of freshness…but upon holding the wrapper open and inhaling what should be a…well, bread-smell… actually rewards the sniffer with an acrid, chemical smell.

This phenomenon has been apparent to me especially lately, in very recent years…even I might say 2017.   Sure, I could blame it on the current political situation, but who would suspect bread-tampering?    To be fair, I remember once when we bought a loaf of the famous Wonder bread, and it stayed soft so long that (this is true…) it went from “fresh-as-new” to black-n-blue-mold” color…overnight.


Here’s a link that is a wealth of information on the subject of bread:  http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/34889/how-do-commercial-bakers-get-white-fluffy-bread

….a surprise in my Tree Garden

My gardening is about as haphazard as my housekeeping.   Plants and trees just sort of fend for themselves, and left to their own devices they never cease to amaze me.    Years ago, when I first built this house, planted assorted trees and other plants….not counting the volunteers in my notorious “tree garden.”      One of the prettiest of my flowering varieties, with marvelous pink flowers, kept pace with another ornamental tree nearby…until we had an especially cold winter about five years ago which froze out and killed quite a lot of specimen in this area.   Although it has been apparent that this tree was indeed defunct, what with its growth covering of lichen.   The branches literally disintegrated to the point where many were removed by the wind itself.

Ever the optimist, last year I determined that among the miscellaneous plant life growing in the vicinity, several shoots were thought to be trees, but their species was quite unknown to me, and could be one of numerous trees in the near neighborhood.      So I let the people that wield weed-wappers and chainsaws, and such, in the area…that these weed-appearing growths are to be left alone.    The tree itself kept developing lichen, and chunks of it kept falling off…I could push the whole thing over if so inclined.

This morning my daughter (who lives next door) and I went for a walk around the place and I pointed out the tree, and its new growth.   The bark of the tree has reminded me of cherry tree bark, and the shoots were developing thickness enough to see that the bark was the same.   As my eye traveled up the tree…there were three pink flowers…which I recognized as being related to the tree in question, and a closer look found two more blossoms further down the branches.

I of course ran in the house to grab my camera.   My first shots were badly over exposed, with the sun high up behind the blossoms, so that the sky was bright and drowned out the delicate pink color.   Each blossom is about an inch in diameter.




New Growth in front, next to the original tree.  


Tree covered with lichen and moss.  New growth behind.



A long shot toward the North, the barn and Tree Garden on the left rear,  the subject tree with the blossoms hanging from a new growth branch…the original tree to the right.
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Welcome blossoms!   



Wildflower Aliens, thanks to The Big Wooden Tent…for the re-blog.

The cheery and informative post from The Big Wooden Tent, features  many wildflower species that are found also here across Lake Erie, in my Ohio back yard.   These plants all have botanical names which are mostly unknown to me, except for buttercups and chicory and the like.    I guess we can thank the prevailing winds for the propagation.



The Big Wooden Tent

I have talked about our swamp plants, our native plants and some of the plants that grow in our wildflower meadow; the Tufted vetch (vicia cracca), clover and the White Hepaticas. The Hepaticas is a native plant, but the Tufted vetch and clover are not. We have so many plants that are not native, but have naturalized so that they appear in my book “Wildflowers of Ontario”. The Tufted vetch was introduced from Eurasia.

Red Clover

White Clover (Trifolium repens) and Red Clover (Prifolium pratense) are native to Europe, Western Asia and northwest Africa, but it has naturalised in many other regions. This one seems too pale to be Red Clover, but too pink to be White Clover, so I am not sure which it is. Clover improves poor soil by fixing nitrogen from the air, so it is not necessarily a bad plant. Only bumblebees and butterflies have the mouth parts…

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